Perino del Vaga (Italian, 1501–1547)
Pen and ink with brown wash, heightened with white, on gray paper
17 x 15 3/4 in. (43.1 x 40 cm)
Purchase, Acquisitions Fund and Annette and Oscar de la Renta Gift, 2011 (2011.36)
A gifted pupil of Raphael, Perino del Vaga ranks among the most important and influential artists of the sixteenth century. This polished study showing Jupiter and Juno reclining in bed is a design for a lost tapestry, part of a series called the Furti di Giove, depicting the clandestine romantic assignations of Jupiter. They were commissioned by the naval hero and ruler of Genoa Andrea Doria, for whom Perino worked in the late 1520s and 1530s. Striking for its monumental scale, high degree of finish, and rich combination of ink, wash, and white highlighting, the drawing is a masterful demonstration of the artist's gifts as a draftsman.